Revolt (free sample chapter)
Revolt is a political satire which is based on a true story that hasn’t happened yet. It is the story of the European Union, set some time a little way in the future.
Tom opened the cupboard beside the oven and rummaged around. He tried to do so quietly, but it is difficult to move pots and pans without making a noise.
‘What are you doing love?’ his aunt asked.
‘I’m looking for something heavy,’ whispered Tom, pulling an aluminium saucepan out of the cupboard. It is, he thought, dangerous to be right when the Government is wrong. But maybe, he added to himself, as a corollary, it can also be dangerous to work for the Government when the Government is wrong.
‘What do you want something heavy for?’ his aunt asked. She had lowered her voice to match her nephew’s.
‘I want to kill someone with it,’ whispered Tom. ‘I’m going to hit him on the head.’ He half heard himself and could hardly believe what he half heard himself say. Though he had always stood up for himself, his beliefs and those he cared for he had always avoided violence. He had played rugby as though the aim of the game was to avoid contact with the ball. At school he had only ever been involved in one fight. An older boy had taunted him with lewd remarks about his mother, younger and considerably more attractive than the mothers of any of his contemporaries. Tom had punched the boy on the nose, leapt upon him and pummelled him until he’d been dragged off. It was his only ever fight. After that the other boys treated him with quiet respect. ‘It’s got to be heavy,’ he repeated, half to himself.
‘Ah,’ said his aunt with a nod of comprehension. ‘Then that pan is too light. You need something heavier. The frying pan is iron and much heavier. Try that.’ She spoke with as much emotion as if she were suggesting the correct pan for frying eggs.
Tom put the saucepan back and picked up the frying pan which was on the stove. He weighed it in his hand. It seemed well-¬made and solid. The handle felt good. It fitted his hand nicely. He looked at his aunt, for whom he felt affection and a great sense of responsibility, and then thought about Dorothy, whom he loved dearly, and realised that he really had no other option. He took a deep breath and went back into the hall. His love for Dorothy, and the companionship that had grown out of that love, was all that he had; it was all he had to live for; all that held him together. He would do anything for Dorothy.
‘He’s dead,’ said the sprout, waiting in the hallway. ‘You’re too damned late. You killed him.’ He looked at the frying pan in Tom’s hand. ‘What the hell is that..?’ He stared at the frying pan with disbelief. The sprouts’ arrogance made them stupid and careless and more vulnerable than they could think possible. They were the visible power of the Superstate based in Brussels and they enjoyed their power.
But ‘What the hell is that…?’ was as far as he got before Tom hit him on the head with the edge of a frying pan.
The sprout fell immediately. To Tom’s quiet surprise there was almost no blood.
Tom stood still for a moment. Then he bent down, put his fingers against the sprout’s neck and felt for a pulse. The sprout’s heart was still beating. Tom raised the frying pan and brought it down even harder. This time some blood seeped from a small, broken vein. The frying pan slipped out of Tom’s reach and bounced and slithered down the hallway towards the door to the kitchen. Tom checked again. The man still had a pulse.
Horrified, Tom turned. Everything seemed to be happening in slow motion but he was concentrating so hard on what he was doing that he didn’t even recognise his aunt’s voice. And it was his aunt who was standing in the kitchen doorway.
‘A sprout,’ answered Tom.
‘What on earth is he doing?’
‘I hit him.’
‘Why did you do that, dear?’
‘I wanted to kill him.’
‘He’s not dead.’
‘No. I know that, auntie.’
‘So, hit him again!’
‘I can’t get to the frying pan.’
‘Use his shoe.’
Tom tore the man’s shoe from his foot and banged him on the head with it. The shoe simply bounced off the man’s head.
‘It’s got a rubber sole. I don’t think hitting him with it is doing him any good but it’s not going to kill him.’ Tom felt hot and sticky. He had pains everywhere; the ones in his chest and down his arms were the most worrying. He wiped sweat from his forehead with his sleeve.
‘It’s not supposed to be doing him any good. You’re trying to kill him. What’s that awful smell?’
‘It’s corning from his shoes.’
‘He must have stepped in something on the way here.’
Tom’s aunt looked at the sole of the shoe her son was holding, wrinkled her nose and turned away her head. ‘Ugh! How disgusting. He’s a sprout?’
‘I thought he was,’ she said, with a nod. ‘He’s got very smelly shoes.’
Just then the first sprout stirred and groaned. Tom jumped.
‘He’s not dead either!’ said Tom’s aunt. ‘You’ll have to hit them both again.’
‘We could electrocute them,’ said Tom. ‘I’ve seen them do it in films. We put them into a bath full of water and then throw in an electrical appliance of some kind.’
His aunt looked at him.
‘An electric fire. A toaster. Something like that.’
‘The only electric fire we have is fixed into the wall in my bedroom and it doesn’t work.’ She waved a hand towards the frying pan. ‘Give that thing to me.’
‘Give it to me.’ She pointed. ‘The pan thing.’
Tom stood up, fetched the frying pan and turned back to hand it to his aunt. But she’d disappeared. He went back into the kitchen. She wasn’t there. He went back into the hallway and saw her coming out of the living room. She was wearing a golf glove on her left hand. She had never played golf in her life, though Tom’s father had been a keen golfer. Tom didn’t know they still had one of his golf gloves.
‘Give me the pan,’ she said.
Tom handed her the frying pan and watched in astonishment as she swung it above her head and brought it down first onto the head of one sprout and then onto the head of the other.
‘We can’t have bodies at the bottom of the stairs,’ complained his aunt, peering at the sprouts to see what damage she had done. ‘We will have to move them. I can’t be clambering over bodies at my age every time I want to go to the bathroom. I might trip up.’
‘How many are there?’
‘How many what?’
‘Just the two.’
‘Oh. I wondered if there might be more. Still, when you’re trying to get around, one is plenty but two are far too many.’
‘They’re sprouts, auntie. I killed them.’
‘I wondered who they were. I didn’t recognise them. Are they anyone I know?’
‘I don’t think so, auntie.’
‘Your grandfather killed Germans in the war. They gave him medals for it.’ Tom’s aunt had been diagnosed as suffering from mild dementia, though Tom was often painfully aware that the adjective ‘mild’ is invariably applied subjectively.
‘He had a German helmet. Kept it at the back of the wardrobe. They didn’t give him that. He took it. Black with a big spike on the top.’
Tom didn’t want his aunt to get too involved with memories of her father. He enjoyed talking to her about the past but this didn’t seem to be a suitable moment.
‘They came to check on our labels.’
‘He kept it in the wardrobe because my mum was worried that my brother or I might hurt ourselves on it.’
‘These two were label inspectors,’ said Tom, trying to turn his aunt’s attention back to the present.
‘Well, don’t worry about it. I expect they’ve got plenty more of these people.’
‘I’ve killed them!’
‘Were they German?’
‘No. They were Romanian.’
‘Oh, that’s all right then. As long as they were foreign. Do you think they’ll give you a nice medal? Who do we have to tell for you to get a medal?’
‘They won’t give me a medal. But they might have me killed.’
‘No medals? Your granddad got medals for killing foreigners. Have they changed the rules? Why on earth would they kill you? Is killing Romanians a bad thing to do? It’s a pity they weren’t German.’
Tom paused for a moment. ‘They might think it’s a bad thing.’
‘And they will want to punish you for it?’
‘They will if they find out.’
‘Oh dear. Well, that’s outrageous. What is the world coming to? No one ever threatened to lock up your granddad. He was given his medals by a General. How dead are they?’
‘I don’t think there are varieties of dead, aunt. There aren’t stages as there are with drunkenness or wickedness. You’re pretty much either dead or you’re not.’ Tom loved his aunt but he was beginning to realise that she was perhaps not the best person to have at his side at what he thought he could fairly describe as something of a crisis.
‘And they’re definitely dead?’
‘Are you sure? Is this one totally dead?’ She poked the body of the second sprout with the toe of her pink fluffy slipper.
‘Completely, utterly, totally dead.’
‘Does he know?’ She poked him again, bent down and peered at him very carefully.
‘The dead man?’
‘Of course, dear. Who else are we talking about?’ Tom sighed. ‘Yes, aunt, the dead man knows.’
‘Hmm. Well, I wouldn’t say he is dead. If you want him to be dead you’re going to have to hit him on the head again with something pretty solid.’
It was at that moment that the dead body, irritated by all the nudging, sat up, rubbed his head and looked around. As might be expected he looked confused and rather bewildered by his circumstances.
Without hesitation Tom’s aunt raised the frying pan above her head and brought it down as though it was a golf club and she was playing a drive with one hand. It hit the side of the sprout’s head with a fearsome crack.
‘There you are,’ said Tom’s aunt. ‘That’s the way to do it.’ She smiled at him.
‘Thanks,’ said Tom, quietly.
‘That made me feel better,’ she said. ‘I’ve been very pissed off for much longer than you have.’
You have just read Chapter One, from Revolt, a satirical novel by Vernon Coleman.
Revolt is the story of the EU and is based on a true story which hasn’t happened yet.’
‘I enjoyed reading Revolt. I fear that much of the book may come true.’ Nigel Farage MEP.
‘Deeply serious potential issues, which are peppered with elements of wit and humour, pose the question: Is this an allegorical view of the way our world is heading?’ - Hull Daily Mail
‘The book is a cleverly conceived encounter between the all-powerful Sprouts from Brussels and the underdog Suspects in a struggle over their country, culture and democracy. Authority becomes the public enemy and the mask of violence. What happens when ordinary people have had enough? What happens when the oppressed citizens rise up against a ruthless, fascist state and fight back? Inspirational, funny, exciting and entirely original.’
Revolt is available on Amazon as an ebook.
Copyright Vernon Coleman